What Orlando is talking about
The Orlando Sentinel published an opinion piece last week from a guy named Jonathan VanBoskerck out in Vegas who said, “I love Disney World, but wokeness is ruining the experience" and it's been making its rounds in viral news.
In response to Disney’s new updated and more inclusive “look” guidelines, VanBockerck said, “The problem is, I’m not traveling across the country and paying thousands of dollars to watch someone I do not know express themselves. I am there for the immersion and the fantasy, not the reality of a stranger’s self-expression. I do not begrudge these people their individuality and I wish them well in their personal lives, but I do not get to express my individuality at my place of business.”
The article caught the attention of folks from all over the world and has since received a lot of backlash. Like David Collier-King from Chicago who argued that Walt Disney would have liked what’s changing at his theme parks. Collier-King quoted Walt, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” and said, “Walt was never resting on the laurels of the past. Walt was always moving forward, testing and trying new things.”
And then Cody Vincitore, a student at Barry University School of Law in Orlando, wrote in too, saying that the Disney wokeness critic got it wrong. Vincitore pointed out that “keeping a labor force that is responsible for making (magical) moments at modest wages is hard enough. Excluding people who want to work for the company, choosing their job for the sheer joy that it brings people, just because they have a small tattoo is the kind of small-minded thinking that I am proud to say is working itself out of our city.”
I think that gets you guys all up to speed on the “Disney wokeness” drama for now, but you’re also invited to read the articles in their entirety above.
In other news…
📰 Today’s your last chance to catch “Yesterday This Was Home,” a moving exhibit on the Ocoee Massacre currently on display at the Orange County Regional History Center downtown. Luckily you can do so from the comfort of your own home: At 6:30 p.m. tonight, curators from the center will take you on a behind-the-scenes tour for just $8. (Orlando Weekly) (Editor’s note: As someone who visited the exhibit in-person months ago, I cannot stress enough just how educational, eye-opening, and essential this exhibit is.)
🏀 The Orlando Magic plans to move its corporate offices to downtown Orlando sometime after Labor Day. Almost 200 employees will be relocating from the RDX Sportsplex in Maitland to an office in the CNL II Building next to City Hall. From there, the plan is for a more permanent move to the Orlando Sports + Entertainment District... whenever that’s built. 😜 (Orlando Weekly, Orlando Sentinel)
🎞 Did you attend the Florida Film Fest this year? If so, in-person or virtually? Either way, organizers have officially announced the winners of the 2021 fest, and our buds over at Bungalower broke ‘em down for us. (Bungalower)
☎️ Orlando Fringe is kicking off a 30-hour text-to-give-a-thon at 9 a.m. today. It’s a fundraiser (emphasis on fun) for the longtime theater fest with a goal of raising $10,000. You can tune in on Facebook or YouTube and watch as Fringers Lisa Hardt and Lindsay Taylor attempt to keep us entertained for 30 hours. For what it’s worth, I have no doubt that they will succeed! 🤗 (Orlando Weekly)
✈️ Early reports show that tourism is on the rebound in Central Florida. According to bookings through MCO, domestic travel is projected to hit pre-pandemic numbers by May and go even higher than that by summer. (News 13, WFTV)